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    Glossary of packaging terms

    Packaging terms from A to Z: Here you will find the most important terms relating to corrugated cardboard, packaging and its production.

    Corrugated cardboard consists of one to three corrugated sheets that are glued together to make them extremely stable. From two corrugated tracks (2-wave cardboard), different types of corrugations can be combined. Detailed information on different shaft combinations and their advantages can be found here.

    The tray is the last machine in the corrugator. It stacks the individually produced corrugated cardboard sheets. These stacks leave the tray via conveyor belts and are ready for further processing into the finished box. This means that they are printed, punched, folded or glued.

    Acrylic adhesives are available in solvent-based and solvent-free versions. The latter is more environmentally friendly because it is water-based. Acrylic adhesives are often found on packing tapes. The adhesive is resistant to temperature and ageing, as well as insensitive to UV radiation and oxidation. However, if it is used in combination with cardboard, acrylic adhesive needs 48 hours to develop its full adhesive power, because it only penetrates the cardboard gradually.

    Paper and cardboard waste (waste paper) can be recycled several times. At Model, we repeatedly use waste paper in a closed paper cycle.

    This die-cutting machine can process large quantities of cardboard in three-shift operation. AutoPCB® can supply different cuts: separated, stacked, punched or completely broken out. Car PCB is a flatbed die-cutter.

    Bag-in-box (BiB) is packaging for liquid foodstuffs, such as juice, wine or salad dressings. The packaging consists of a cardboard box and an internal plastic bag with an integrated tap. Bag-in-Box is a lightweight alternative to glass bottles and offers easy handling. Due to the closed system, oxygen, light and contaminants cannot penetrate and liquids remain durable for a long time. In addition, the outer box can be printed as desired and serves as advertising space at the point of sale.

    As a biodegradable filling material, biochips are a good alternative to packaging chips made of polystyrene. The compostable packaging chips are made from plant starch (e.g. corn) and water.

    Blind embossing is a print finish. In this process, motifs or lettering without ink are pressed onto the packaging with an embossing stamp. In the case of intaglio embossing, the relief goes into the cardboard. When embossed, the relief is raised. This print finishing is particularly relevant for medical packaging: for example, when important information is embossed in Braille and thus made haptically accessible.

    BOPP film is mainly used as packaging for foodstuffs. BOPP is the abbreviation for "biaxially oriented polypropylene". "Biaxially oriented" means that molecular chains are stretched in two directions, thus giving the film a high degree of stability.

    A type of paper for corrugated board production. Blanket paper has two layers: a top layer made of long-fiber pulp and a base layer made of recycled fibers. As a result, cover paper is stronger than other types of paper (e.g. testliners), easier to process in the corrugator and easier to print.

    In this printing process, a computer transfers the printed image directly from a file to the printing press. No printing units or printing plates are used.

    The display packaging is a promotional packaging and serves to promote sales at the point of sale. The packaging presents small products advantageously and is intended to encourage spontaneous purchases (for example, Christmas or Easter items, such as Advent calendars and chocolate bunnies).

    Printing plates are part of offset and flexographic printing. A plate is produced for each individual colour. Printing plates can be made of different materials - in flexographic printing, for example, photopolymer or rubber.

    Printing units are stand-alone machines within an inline machine. They can be used, for example, to implement flexographic printing or offset printing. Each colour to be printed needs its own printing unit. For this reason, several printing units are arranged one after the other within an inline machine, which print the paper sheet one after the other with the desired colors.

    Inserts offer additional protection in packaging (e.g. for bottles). They are punched from corrugated cardboard and optimally adapted to the box. In addition, the contents can be presented advantageously by means of an insert (for example, in the case of packaging for mobile devices).

    Postcard-sized inserts in shipping packaging can be used, for example, as a greeting to the customer ("Thank you for your purchase") or as a call to refer friends.

    Single-use packaging can only be used once and must then be disposed of (e.g. to-go packaging made of cardboard or beverage cans).

    With continuous corrugated board, you can easily pack long or bulky packages, because it can be variably cut to size.

    EPAL is the abbreviation for European Pallet Association and the test mark of the association of the same name for Europool pallets.

    The Euro hole is a standardised recess at the top of a package. It is used to hang packaging or other products on merchandise presentation systems.

    This machine can fold and glue heavy envelopes, for example, medical records.

    The folding bottom is part of the packaging of the same name: the folding bottom packaging. It is already pre-glued by the manufacturer. Together with the erecting boxes, they form the FEFCO-ESBO group of "ready-glued boxes".

    One of the most popular types of corrugated crates with the FEFCO code 0201. It is the standard version of a box with external flaps that meet each other. The inner flaps do not bump into each other, leaving a gap.

    Folding cartons are industrially prefabricated and delivered to companies by the manufacturer in a space-saving manner. There, they can be erected in just a few simple steps or by machine. Most of the time, all the customer has to do is press lightly on the side of the folded box and it straightens up.

    FEFCO is the abbreviation for the European Association of Corrugated Board Manufacturers. The Brussels-based organisation has been around since 1952. The FEFCO code serves as the international standard in the production of corrugated cardboard packaging. It divides boxes made of solid and corrugated board into different types and provides them with a four-digit code. This makes it easier to communicate about the design of a carton. You can find out more about the FEFCO Code and its benefits here.

    The fine flute (also known as the B-flute) can be printed very well. It is 2.2 to 3 millimeters high and has a lower wave pitch than other waves (i.e., a smaller distance from one wave space to the next). This gives it a fine surface.

    The machine glues film in packaging with windows, also known as transparent packaging. These have the advantage that customers can take a look at the product (for example, in the case of boxes of chocolates and toy boxes). A car board first punches out the recesses for the windows. The packaging is then further processed in the window pasting machine.

    Window boxes are boxes with windows. These cardboard boxes are popular, for example, for bottle or pasta packaging.

    Filament tape has a particularly strong adhesive strength under high loads. It is particularly suitable for corrugated cardboard and must be used for hazardous goods packaging. You can find out more about the right adhesive tape for your packaging in our practical guide.

    Flat printed products are printed according to the principle of area against surface. This process has been around for a very long time, it is typical for letterpress printing: a flat counter-printing plate (crucible) presses the substrate forcefully onto a flat printing plate and the ink is transferred in the process.

    The flexographic printing machine uses a direct letterpress process (as opposed to the indirect process used in offset printing). This offers optimum print quality, especially when printing on corrugated cardboard. In this process, the ink is applied directly from the printing plate to the fabric to be printed (corrugated cardboard, foil).

    Flexographic inks are environmentally friendly because they are mainly diluted with water. An ink pump pumps the low-viscosity ink from an ink container into the printing unit. The ink is then transferred to the printing plates (clichés).

    Fluting is the English term for corrugated paper in corrugated base paper.

    This machine ensures that a layer of film adheres to a package. To do this, she applies toner in the desired form to a substrate.

    Film thickness refers to the thickness of a film that serves as a packaging material. The unit of measurement for film thickness is micrometers (μm) = 0.001 millimeters.

    Virgin fibres (also cellulose) are made from wood. This wood is produced as a by-product, for example during the thinning of forests. These are tree trunks that are too thin or not of high quality enough to be processed elsewhere.

    The abbreviation FSC® stands for Forest Stewardship Council®. This is an international certification system for sustainable forest management.

    Filling material is used to fill cavities in a package and thus fix the contents in the box. Packaging chips, for example, are a popular filling material. In addition, you can use padding material to protect the contents during transport. You can find out more about filling material and upholstery material in our practical guide.

    Compartments are product separators in a carton. They prevent the packaged goods from touching each other and thus breaking. Specifically, compartments are interlocking webs that also stabilize a package.

    Dangerous goods are items that pose a hazard during transport. The dangerous property can affect humans, animals or the environment. Anyone who packs, transports or ships dangerous goods must comply with certain regulations for the safe transport of dangerous goods. Detailed information on the packaging of dangerous goods can be found here.

    Due to their chemical, physicochemical or toxic properties, hazardous substances can have a harmful effect on humans and the environment during their manufacture or use.

    The grammage is the weight of paper. It is measured in grams per square meter. The most common is a grammage of 80 g/m2, this paper is usually used in the copier or printer. For newspapers, lighter paper weighing 50 g/m2 is used. If paper weighs 150 to 600 grams per square meter, it counts as cardboard, from 600 grams as cardboard.

    The production of grass paper is resource- and climate-friendly. The production of the grass fibre is mechanical, without chemical processing. It causes about 95 percent less CO2 emissions, requires little water and less energy than other types of paper.

    Semi-pulp has high rigidity. It is therefore ideally suited for the production of corrugated board, as it gives the corrugated board stability and shock-absorbing properties.

    HDPE is the abbreviation for High Density Polyethylene, a high-density plastic made of PE (polyethylene). This plastic is the basis for films and other plastic objects. It is stable, robust and not very flexible. Wafer-thin films are also made from HDPE.

    A stapler can be used to seal thick-walled cartons. For example, cartons made of several top layers or with an inner corrugated cardboard layer. These machines usually require wide-spine clamps of 35 millimeters.

    Hot stamping is a finishing technique for packaging. With the appropriate machine, various designs made of thin plastic film can be applied to two-dimensional surfaces.

    Wood wool consists of fine wood fibers. It is produced by planing round timber sections and is very low in dust. In addition, wood wool is elastic and antistatic. It is used, for example, as a soft base for bottle packaging.

    Hot melt glue can be found on inexpensive adhesive and packing tapes. It sticks very quickly (immediate adhesion), is mostly free of solvents and adhesive tapes with hotmelt glue can be easily unrolled. You can read more about the optimal adhesive tape for your packaging here.

    Industrial packaging is used immediately after the production of an industrial good. The goods are packaged either directly at the production plant or at an external packaging site. Industrial packaging is used for both factory traffic and transport.

    The inline machine is the classic corrugated board converting machine. She makes the packaging from a sheet of corrugated cardboard. "Inline" refers to the sequence of several individual machines, such as printing units or die-cutters. Looking at the entire manufacturing process, the majority of corrugated cardboard packaging is produced on the inline machine.

    Cardboard packaging is made from waste paper, (semi-)pulp and wood pulp. They protect their contents during transport or serve as containers, for example during storage.

    To put it simply, lamination means: to cover something with foil. A laminating machine produces corrugated cardboard with a high-quality printed surface. Rolls or individual sheets of corrugated cardboard are the carrier material, the upper top is usually made of coated paper.

    "Laminated" is the term used to describe packaging that is not printed directly, but is covered with a printed sheet of paper.

    With transparent packaging, the customer can already take a look at the contents before unpacking the product. Most of the time, these packages are mainly made of corrugated cardboard with your recess (window) made of transparent film.

    Costs for a cliché (= printing plate) arise when packaging such as folding cartons, pouches, carrier bags or packing tape are individually printed. The cliché applies the desired colour to the packaging like a large stamp.

    This refers to packaging with complex geometric contours. You can optimally fix a product and transport it safely. In addition, they are attention-grabbing at the point of sale with their exciting shapes.

    Packaging for cosmetics is hygienic, functional and aesthetic. They protect and present products such as creams, serums or ointments. Cosmetic packaging should be produced according to good manufacturing practices or a comparable quality assurance system, for example ISO 9001.

    Kraftliner is a particularly robust type of paper for the production of corrugated cardboard. The kraft paper consists of at least 80 percent new wood fibers (primary fibers) and a maximum of 20 percent recycled fibers (secondary fibers). Compared to Testliner, Kraftliner is the more expensive paper variant.

    Food can be shipped in refrigerated packaging without interrupting the cold chain. The prerequisite for this is that the prescribed temperature ranges are always maintained during storage and transport. You can find out more about how to pack food correctly here.

    The short sheeter is a part of the corrugator. If, for example, defective material comes out of the system, the short sheeter cuts out the unusable area. If the format or the job changes, the cutter cuts the web completely and creates a gap. Then, for example, creasing and cutting tools can be replaced.

    LDPE is a plastic and stands for soft polyethylene (low-density polyethylene).

    Glue is an adhesive that bonds materials such as wood or paper. Natural glues consist of proteins, starch, dextrins or vegetable gums. Synthetic glues consist of polycondensates and polymers.

    Lithography is a flat printing process. The motif is drawn in reverse on the surface to be printed, which is then treated with etching liquid. In the places where there is no drawing, the liquid enters the cardboard. When the printer's ink is rolled, the ink only sticks to the drawn lines. The area treated with corrosive fluid repels them.

    Low noise is a special feature of an adhesive tape: it can be unrolled quietly and easily.

    Bubble wrap is a cushioning material, has at least two layers and is made of plastic. It is elastic and usually transparent. The film is suitable for packing fragile items. You can find out here how to optimally cushion your packaged goods in the package and fill voids.

    These packages can be used several times. Reusable packaging protects the environment because it saves natural resources and reduces waste.

    Reusable packaging made of polypropylene (PP) has a long life cycle and can be reused particularly frequently.

    M-Fold is a folded continuous corrugated cardboard. This flexible packaging solution is suitable for packaged goods in various sizes, as it can be cut to size as required. M-Fold is a product of Model Group.

    A handy machine that quickly creates air cushions and air chamber mats at the touch of a button to cushion or fill packages.

    The wet end is an element of the corrugator, but it is not available on every line. Components of the wet end are the dispenser, splicer, single-sided machine, triple preheater and laminating gluer.

    This solvent-based adhesive is used for various adhesive tapes. Natural rubber adhesive has a high initial adhesion, which means that it develops 100 percent of its adhesive strength immediately after unrolling and applying the adhesive tape. However, this glue dissolves faster than other varieties. Find out more about adhesives and the best tape for your packaging in our handy guide.

    A wave is open when it is covered on only one side. As a fine corrugated (B-flute) in the form of corrugated board on rolls, it is used, for example, for packing and filling. As a microwave (E-wave), it is well suited for lamination.

    In offset printing, an intermediate carrier is used, i.e. the printing plates do not print directly on the paper, but first on a rubber blanket. From there, the final paper is printed. Offset is therefore an indirect flat printing process. Offset printing allows fast duplication of high-quality print media and is therefore suitable for large print runs. It is the most widely used printing process today.

    You can use a packing tape (also adhesive tape) to seal your packaging and reinforce the box additionally. You can find out exactly how to do this in our practical guide.

    Any goods that are packaged are referred to as packaged goods.

    Packaging aids include, for example, adhesive tapes, staples and strapping. They increase the stability of packaging or hold crates and boxes together.

    Packaging materials are all products that are used for the packaging of goods. These include, for example, boxes, bags, bottles or foils.

    Packaging materials are all materials that are used in the production of packaging materials or packaging aids.

    A pallet is a means of transport. It is a flat construction on which several goods or heavy items are bundled, stored or transported. To move pallets, you need industrial trucks, such as a forklift.

    A Euro pallet has the format 800 x 1200 millimeters with a height of 144 millimeters.

    Duct tape or duct tape is a particularly stable adhesive tape. It is heat-resistant as well as water-repellent.

    Paper cycle refers to the recycling of waste paper and cardboard or the production of new boxes from used cardboard. It is an important part of sustainable management. Find out more about sustainability within the Model Group here.

    A recyclable alternative to cushioning materials such as bubble wrap or plastic packaging chips.

    Polyethylene terephthalate (PET for short) is a thermoplastic and belongs to the group of polyesters.

    The point of sale (POS) refers to the point of sale or purchase.

    Padding material protects fragile contents during transport or shipping in a package. One environmentally friendly upholstery material is paper upholstery. In addition, you can use filling material in your package. You can find out more about filling material and upholstery material in our practical guide.

    Packaging optimised for postal delivery, i.e. postage-optimised.

    PP stands for polypropylene. This plastic does not contain plasticizers. It is therefore considered less harmful to health than other plastics.

    An embossing machine presses a figure or motif into the paper. Unlike a punch (punching machine) that cuts a figure out of a piece of paper.

    Primary packaging touches the packaged product directly and is the last to be removed by the end customer. Some primary packaging, for example for food or pharmaceuticals, is subject to strict regulations, such as which ingredients may be used in the production of the packaging. Primary packaging must be precisely tailored to the product in question in order to protect it in the best possible way.

    Promotional packaging is used for marketing or advertising purposes. For example, attention-grabbing displays at the POS can encourage the end customer to make a purchase.

    A proof is a test print that simulates the desired print result and can be evaluated accordingly before the actual print.

    Polyvinyl chloride (PVC for short) is a polymer for plastics. PVC plastics can be divided into hard and soft PVC.

    Part of the corrugator: The sheeters separate the endless corrugated cardboard webs and cut the sheet length.

    A product is recyclable if it can be reused after waste processing.

    Recycled fibres are made from waste paper or cardboard.

    How tear-resistant a material is is determined by the maximum tensile stress up to the moment of tearing. Synthetic fibres are generally more tear-resistant than natural fibres.

    Resource-saving production means, for example, using natural (= finite) resources as sparingly and efficiently as possible.

    A corrugated mechanism provides surfaces with fine, parallel grooves.

    This machine is a part of the corrugator. The machine can do longitudinal cutting, cross-cutting and paper creasing.

    This punch separates material by the rotation of its tools.

    Foam film is a packaging material and protects sensitive packaged goods from scratches.

    Schrenz is cardboard made from low-quality raw materials. The term comes from bookbinding.

    With tissue paper, or packing silk, you can cushion packages or wrap glass, jewelry, and porcelain to protect products from scratches. The material looks elegant and is pleasant to the touch. You can read more practical tips on upholstery material here.

    Secondary packaging follows the primary packaging of a product. For wine, for example, the bottle is a primary packaging. If several bottles are packed in one carton, the carton is the secondary packaging.

    Service packaging includes, for example, paper bags for bread rolls or to-go cups for coffee. These are packages that are filled with the food or goods at the place of purchase.

    SizzlePak is a decorative filling material made of paper in different colors. You can use it to fill voids in your shipping packaging. You can read more practical tips on filling and upholstery material here.

    A slotter (also known as a creasing station) embosses creases (slots) into corrugated cardboard. To do this, he uses rotating creasing bodies. The slots are used to fold the corrugated board into the desired shape (box) in a later step.

    Immediate adhesion refers to the adhesive strength that an adhesive tape develops immediately after unrolling and sticking.

    Bulky goods are a shipping method. It is relevant for packages that exceed the standard dimensions but are not heavier than 30 kilos. These parcels must be marked as bulky goods when they are sent by post.

    The splice facility is a part of the corrugator. It ensures that paper rolls in the system are changed automatically.

    The punching (or punching press) can cut through different materials (cardboard or sheets) to produce individual flat parts. This is done by hitting a cutting tool with a hammer head.

    Punching tools are used in punches and consist of a die and a punch. They can punch and form materials.

    Starch is an ingredient in the production of paper. For example, potato starch, corn starch and wheat starch are used. Sometimes also pea starch, rice starch and cassava starch.

    Bridges divide the interior of a box into several compartments, keeping the contents separate during transport.

    Stretch film secures the goods on the pallet and protects them from dirt, weather, excessive heat or cold. It can be stretched up to five times its original length. Depending on the size of your packaged goods, you can use different types of stretch film: hand stretch film, machine stretch film and mini stretch film.

    Styrofoam chips are used as filling material for packages. Find out here which sustainable alternatives you can use as filling material.

    This adhesive is based on synthetic resins and rubbers. It has a strong, long-lasting adhesion.

    Tertiary packaging is the third stage of packaging after primary and secondary packaging. Tertiary packaging includes, for example, stretch and shrink film, which secure and protect several cartons on a pallet for transport.

    Testliner is a type of paper made from recycled fibres (waste paper) and is used to produce corrugated cardboard. Testliner is the cheaper paper variant compared to kraftliner.

    This printing process is suitable, for example, for food packaging or labels. In the printing technique, the mold is first completely colored and excess ink is later removed. Only in the desired indentations (motif) does the paint stick.

    Also called thermal packaging. This packaging is suitable for frozen products. Would you like to learn more about food packaging? Just read on here.

    A crucible is a flat counter-pressure plate used in letterpress printing. It is an older process and is now only used for very small quantities.

    Goods can be transported safely and securely in transport packaging. This includes cartons, but also, for example, foils.

    A tray is one of the promotional packaging. It is made of high-quality corrugated or solid cardboard and has an open design. In a tray, products can be transported to retailers as well as presented at the point of sale.

    A corrugator is divided into wet ends and dry ends. The dry end includes: short sheeter, creasing and cutting machine and cross cutter.

    Cardboard packaging is covered with different types of papers: these can be natural or printed fine papers, which are varnished, laminated or embossed to enhance them. A coating machine is used for this purpose.

    This machine produces coated packaging. These can be completely covered, from above or from below.

    Outer packaging is a larger package that bundles small packages. One example is small gummy bear packs, which are sold in a larger bag (outer packaging).

    Sales packaging protects the product and enables a safe handover to the end customer. It has direct contact with the goods, such as a crème can.

    All packaging used to ship goods.

    Solid cardboard consists of several layers that are pressed on top of each other while the fibrous materials are still moist and malleable. This is what distinguishes solid board from corrugated cardboard. Solid cardboard is very strong and hard-wearing due to the compression of the layers.

    Packaging made of solid cardboard is very good due to its smooth structure, and can also be printed in multiple colours. In addition, solid board can be coated or laminated with aluminum, for example for beverage cartons.

    Even light paper becomes enormously stable when it is corrugated or corrugated and glued with smooth paper webs. The corrugation in the carton is the first step of the corrugator. For this purpose, paper webs run off a roll, are moistened, heated, processed by heated corrugating rollers and thus brought into the desired wave type. Detailed information about the wave can be found here.

    The type of wave - and its properties - is determined by the wave height (h) and the wave pitch (t). In the 1-wave range, the C-wave (medium wave), the B-wave (fine wave) and the E-wave (ultra-fine or microwave) are the most common. You can read a lot more information about different types of waves and their advantages here.

    The wave height (h) is the measure between the wave tip and the wave trough.

    Corrugating material is made from waste paper and contains proportions of semi-pulp.

    Corrugated cardboard sheets are the basis of many different types of packaging. They are further processed into boxes in an inline machine. The sheets made of corrugated cardboard also function as dividers or cover plates.

    Corrugated cardboard base paper is made from corrugated cardboard base paper. Base papers are made from wood or waste fibre. The fibres are soaked in water and mixed with glues, fillers and dyes. This mixture is pressed into a web and dried. Depending on the composition, this results in kraftliner, testliner or Schrenz.

    Inserts offer additional protection in packaging (e.g. for bottles). They are punched from corrugated cardboard and optimally adapted to the box. In addition, the contents can be presented advantageously by means of an insert (for example, in the case of packaging for mobile devices).

    Corrugated cardboard is so popular for packaging because the corrugation provides stability. Due to its shape, the shaft absorbs pressure and shocks and distributes them to the outer carton. The more layers a corrugated cardboard packaging has, the more stable it is.

    Corrugated cardboard (in Germany) or corrugated cardboard (in Switzerland) is a lightweight pulp product and very stable. Corrugated cardboard is one of the most widely used materials in the packaging industry. It is based on corrugated cardboard base paper. This is glued together in at least one smooth and one wavy strip (1-wave).

    The corrugator (corrugator) consists of several plant components and is used for the production of corrugated board. The individual high-precision machines in the plant each have their own drive and can be controlled independently of each other via process computers. The corrugator consists of a wet end and a dry end.